It’s official — Sherri Shepherd is the new co-host of “The View!”
The former “Less Than Perfect” star made her debut as the fifth permanent moderator on the daytime talk show this morning, following months of speculation.
“I am so happy that Sherri Shepherd is joining our panel,” said “View” co-host and co-executive producer Barbara Walters in a statement. “She is irreverent, charming, funny and loveable. I look forward to a wonderful year on ‘The View’ with both Whoopi and Sherri.”
The departure of Rosie O’Donnell last season and Star Jones Reynolds in 2006 left two seats to be filled. Goldberg was announced as the first new co-host in July, and took her place at the “View” table on Sept. 4.
Monday, Shepherd joined Walters, Goldberg, and returning moderators Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, bringing the show back to the five-woman dynamic it was accustomed to for years.
“I am thrilled and honored to be working with a trailblazer, an Oscar winner, a fellow comedienne and a survivor,” Shepherd stated in a release.
And with just one day on the job, the chatty, irreverent Shepherd got the “thumbs up” from her first guest, Dr. Phil McGraw.
“The whole idea is to have a happy, open debate,” the celebrity psychologist told Sherri, “and you are a healthy, open debater!”
Shepherd had long been considered the front-runner to fill one of the open spots, having guest-hosted the show 23 times in the past. Many were puzzled when only one new co-host was announced last month.
Reports have suggested that the delay in announcing Shepherd was due to ongoing contract negotiations, and Sherri herself told “Access Hollywood” in August that she was “still in talks” with the show, and hoped to be “in that chair in September.”
Last week, a source close to the show leaked that Shepherd would take up the post, but even so, “The View” has been known to be unpredictable.